Lexicon Big Year: August 5

Aug 5: Aerumnous is Steven Poole’s ancient abandoned word meaning “full of troubles.” When the Stage 4 lockdown news startled me three days ago, I couldn’t help feeling that I and the world are aerumnous. I’m not sure of the pronunciation but either option should sound wonderful.

I woke up in the middle of the night with a possible sentence for my book and it featured the word baleful. It means “menacing” or “threatening harm.” I’d always thought it was best used in connection with someone cast as the devil, as in “the devil’s baleful gaze,” but now I think that’s mistaken.

Source: A Word for Every Day of the Year by Steven Poole.

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